(Inspired by Mr. Tramuel at http://mrtramuel.wordpress.com)
Definition of AGE (according to Merriam-Webster)Age is such a relative term! I am AT AN AGE where I feel wise, humble, tolerant and successful. But MY AGE is an ever increasing number; technically I get older minute-by-minute, day-by-day! Unfortunately, with each passing second, I don’t seem to noticeably grow any wiser, my humbleness doesn’t get any more apparent, I don’t display any additional tolerance, and I don’t find any additional successes in those short moments. All of those attributes, and GIFTS OF AGE (as I shall call them), take time! Luckily, it doesn’t take a LIFETIME! But it does take an ADVANCED STAGE OF LIFE to achieve, or continue to gain those gifts of age! As some get older, they shun their age. They don’t look to the future; they look back on the past. I feel that I had a great life in the past. I enjoyed my early youth (hey, I think I am still in my youth)! But in order to truly gain and appreciate the gifts of age, you have to embrace it. And with that, I EMBRACE MY AGE.
1. the time of life at which some particular qualification, power, or capacity arises or rests (the voting age is 18); specifically : majority
2. one of the stages of life
3. the length of an existence extending from the beginning to any given time (a boy 10 years of age)
5. an advanced stage of life
Growing up, my dad always said he had a special power… he called it “mother wit”. Mother wit is technically another name for common sense. It is something most people feel that we are either born with or attain at an early age. Now wisdom is an attribute that we’ve come to know is gained from increasing knowledge and experience. As time has pressed on, I think I have shown an innate ability to exercise mother wit, but I think through all the trials, all the good times, all the bad, is how I gained my wisdom! It has taken years to experience the loves, the hates, the awkward moments, the adventures in life! And with that I embrace my age.
I didn’t grow up rich, or in a nice neighborhood. I think I had my fair share, if not more than my fair share, of struggle. Early on, you could have said I was humble, but I didn’t even know what that meant. I just dealt with what life gave me. Until I got to that age, where I knew more, wanted more and did more to try to get better things. I worked hard and made a way out. But as I got older and realized that I may have had a hard life by my standards & definition, but there are others who suffer. As I traveled, as I went to school and as I interacted with more people in different situations and cultures, I gained a humbleness that just being poor didn’t provide. I gained the insight to a bigger picture, to understand the world revolves around no man. We are here to help and advance one another. To help our fellow human being, pull themselves up from the bootstraps and move mountains! That is the humbleness I gained with experiences I had throughout my life. And with that I embrace my age.
Growing up in a poor, black neighborhood, on the west side of Detroit, you get exposed to “a culture”. Unfortunately, it is a self-centered culture. You don’t learn anything, or feel that there is anything, outside of that culture. But as part of my journey, through my travels, through my education and through my thirst for knowledge, I learned that we live in a world rich with culture and diversity. I learned that other cultures, religions, sexes, ways-of-life and people in general have a right to be respected. I have gained a tolerance for religions and cultures no matter how different from my own they are. They are still able to provide knowledge and tradition that I surely can’t gain by shunning and shutting them out. In all my years, I have learned so much from so many people of this world, that it has made me a much stronger and wiser individual. But it took that time, and that culmination of energies to get to that point. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve been able to appreciate and use that knowledge and those experiences. And with that I embrace my age.
Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to be rich, or at least financially stable. Everyone wants to have good friends and maybe even a great family. Some people even want to have a dream career! Whatever the case may be for our wants, needs and dreams, all these things can be attributed to our view of success. I don’t feel that just one of those desires can make a person successful. I think that achieving your goals and gaining some (or all) of your desires is what brings success to mind. Therefore, in order to achieve such successes, a person has to collect all the necessary attributes, experiences, wisdom, tolerance and maybe even a sprinkle of humbleness!
With age, a person grows their attitudes and their habits, and hopefully all those align in such a way that they become a person desirable to others. Desirable in work, love, family and friendship. With age, a person learns how to interact with others. With age, a person learns to achieve goals and get things done. With age, a person has experiences that shape who they are and what they will become. It is not an overnight process, it takes years. And with that time, a person is able to get through this life and make the decisions necessary to be successful.
To gain the friendships they can cherish for years to come. To achieve a level in their career, that can make it fulfilling. To get to that point in life where you are happy with yourself, and become a treasure to others! That is the time in life where experience and life lessons will seem to come together! When you can get to that age, and say “Look, I made it, I’ve come this far and I am better off (and successful) for having done it”, it’s at that moment, when YOU can embrace your age!
Thank you for going on this journey with me, as I explored AGE and some of the important aspects of it. Embrace your age, embrace your trials, embrace your experiences, embrace this thing we call life!